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QCPS Workshop: Empowering Civil-Democratic Movement Key to Confronting Radicalism

2016-11-26

Director of Al Quds Centre for Political Studies (QCPS), Oraib Rantawi, told intellectuals, political influencers, and young activists at a workshop that Jordan's civil-democratic movement is key to democratisation and fighting radicalism.
Themed, "the Civil-Democratic Movement in Jordan: Revival Opportunities and Challenges", the workshop, held by QCPS at the Regency Palace hotel in Amman, sought to explore the movement, its components, challenges, and opportunities to help produce a roadmap to its advancement, said Rantawi.
The September 2016 general election showed that religious leaders, tribes, and businesspeople control the country's political scene, and that there is a need for a fourth power: the civil-democratic movement, which is key to democratisation, Rantawi said.
"There is a chance now, more than ever, to revive and advance the civil-democratic movement, despite difficulties and obstacles," Rantawi told the workshop, organised in cooperation with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS).
He said the movement "is not supported or represented by powerful political parties", adding that it is "disorganised and has a weak structure, facing pressure and blackmail by conservative powers."
According to Rantawi, the 2016 electoral campaigns, which for the first time witnessed Islamist-secularist debates, as well as the fierce opposition to school curriculum reforms, emphasise the need for empowering the civil-democratic movement to confront radicalism, which exploits religion to fight reform and modernisation.
"Success in building a civil-democratic alliance seems possible, provided that civil-democratic representatives organise themselves, and focus on joint action and public interest," Rantawi suggested.
"The future of democratisation in Jordan hinges on the ability of genuine reformists to fight religious and social radicalism as well as opposition to reform and democratisation."
For his part, Dr. Manuel Schubert, KAS ‎resident representative, said the outcomes of the parliamentary election encourage youth political engagement, participation, and contribution.
The workshop participants highlighted the importance of roles of women and youth in democratisation and creating social change.